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Chris Squire biography
Christopher Russell Edward Squire - 4 March 1948 (Kingsbury, London, UK) - 27 June 2015

It's hard to make a bio about Chris because his 40+ years career with YES and his solo albums speak more of him than just a couple of paragraphs, but we will try to be as impersonal as we can.

Chris Squire started as a choirboy in Haberdasher Aske's public school. Made his early career as bass player in two small bands called THE SELFS and THE SYN (with Andrew Jackman and Peter BANKS) before he was introduced to Jon Anderson with whom he played in MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP, where the seeds of YES started to grow.

On August 4, 1968 they took the great step and played their first concert under the name of YES with Bill Bruford, and the rest is well known history that doesn't need to be repeated here.

After the release of Yes' "Relayer", everyone in the band at that time did one solo album each. Chris recorded "Fish Out of Water" with the participation of Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz, and his old friend Andrew Jackman. The album was released in 1975.

Despite a good critical reception and acceptance of the fans, Squire gave priority to his life commitment with YES (He's the only YES member who has been present on every album) and short-lived projects such as XYZ with Alan White and Jimmy Page or CONSPIRACY with Billy SHERWOOD plus guest appearances with well-known artists and bands like Rick WAKEMAN, EDDIE HARRIS, GOV'T MULE and ESQUIRE among others.

With this busy life, Squire's solo career had to wait until 2007 when he released his second album "Chris Squire's Swiss Choir" in which Steve Hackett was invited and this lead to a new collaborative project called SQUACKETT.

Iván Melgar-Morey::::Perú

Photo by Robin Kauffman

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CHRIS SQUIRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 491 ratings
Fish Out Of Water
3.08 | 29 ratings
Chris Squire's Swiss Choir

CHRIS SQUIRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

CHRIS SQUIRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

CHRIS SQUIRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 9 ratings
Lucky Seven
2.96 | 16 ratings
Run with the Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by ken_scrbrgh

5 stars In 1986, the now late, great self-deprecatory comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, released Back to School, something of his "autobiography" and "magnum opus." In "true" confessional form, we learn of Thornton Melon, the thinly veiled cinematic version of Rodney. Melon accompanies his son on his return to "Great Lakes University," deciding to enroll as a freshman in the university to inspire his less than eager son. Although a wealthy owner of "large and fat" apparel stores, Melon is basically "self-made" with no formal education . . . . Suffice it to say, he secures admittance through a large donation to the university, and, then, the fun begins.

At the end of 1975, the now late, great bassist and co-founder of Yes, Chris Squire, released, for all intents and purposes, his only solo album, Fish out of Water. Like Rodney's later Back to School, Fish out of Water is "autobiographical" and a "masterstroke." The entire album is evocative of not only Squire's, but also pianist, orchestrator. and conductor, Andrew Pryce Jackman's Church of England choir days. So, when Squire set out to produce a solo album, he did. Besides two junctures in which Squire plays electric, 12 String guitars, there are no other electric or acoustic guitars. Obviously, Squire's bass becomes the lead instrument. Of course, even on Yes' eponymous first album, Squire declares this new predominant bass role during the beginning of "Beyond and Before." And with his Rickenbacker 4100 bass, Squire took this instrument into "unchartered territory." Because nothing occurs in a "vacuum," I do need to mention John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, and Paul McCartney.

I recall, in early 1976, reacting to Bill Bruford's exemplary role on this album. It is almost as if Squire said, "You got away from us in 1972 upon completion of Close to the Edge in the studio; you "owe" me this!" Especially in "Silently Falling" and "Lucky Seven," Bruford displays some of the fruits of his tenure in King Crimson.

Saxophonist Mel Collins, also soon after work with Robert Fripp, makes large contributions to Squire's album. Jimmy Hastings from the Canterbury Scene excels as flutist in "You By My Side." Also in homage to Squire and Jackman's Anglican, musical days, Barry Rose, at St. Paul's Cathedral, contributes pipe organ to "Hold out Your Hand." Lastly, Patrick Moraz delivers an intense organ solo and synthesizer performance on "Silently Falling."

Going back to those days in 1976 and following, "Safe (Canon Song), was something of an enigma to me. But, no matter. A survey of Squire's career (almost entirely within Yes) reveals a wealth of legendary performances on the bass guitar. In retrospect, I find "Safe" Squire's most "symphonic" setting for the bass guitar. We all know Squire's signature piece, "The Fish" on Fragile and his live version on Yessongs with Bill Bruford, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, and Jon Anderson. "Safe" reveals even more of Squire's dedication to and transformation of the bass guitar.

Later on, during the 90125 tour, Squire, in jest, wore some of the trappings of a medical doctor, and Anderson referred to his colleague as "the Doctor--Doctor Chris Squire." To this day, Rodney Dangerfield remains my favorite comedian; Chris Squire, my favorite bassist. I've been known to do a passable imitation of Rodney. However, I must leave emulation of Chris to Geddy Lee, John Myung, and Les Claypool.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by koresea

4 stars if I had to say if someone will like this album I would tell them that "If you are a Yes fan, you will find it incredible, if you dislike the band then there not much to listen to here". As the other reviewers have said the style that Chris Squire adopts to his solo work is pretty much what he has done with yes before in his life, awesome music.

The album is made of three short songs and two long ones, it opens with the impressive radio-friendly "Hold Out Your Hand", this is the type of song that you can put in the car with someone who does not know prog-rock and there is still a good chance that he will appreciate it. As soon as the song starts we can already perceive that Chris does not disappoint in the bass lines who are strong and cool, he does the vocals for the album too and I must say that I'm very impressed by the way that he sings soo good without "trying too much".

Another thing that must be said about the songs here is that despite being a "solo record" Squire gives much space to the other musicians play and they are all very good, proving that he is not only a bass virtuoso but a great songwriter too.

The other two short songs are very pleasurable too, You By My Side are kinda like the sequel of Hold Out but are more slow-paced and relaxing and Lucky Seven is the "jazzier" song of the album, pretty good too.

The two long songs of the album are like a "two-edged knife" for me, by one side Silently Falling is the best song in the album starts very slow like "You by my side" but keeps going more faster and emotional until reaches its climax with Chris delivering awesome lyrics together with a beautiful piano and guitar. Safe (Canon Song) on the other side is the worst song of the album, in my opinion, it too long and repetitive, the instrumental keeps going but doesn't feel that is coming anywhere, I think is the only "bad" song on the LP.

"Fish out of water" is not a masterpiece, especially because Chris is not really "out of the water", showing us a type of songwriting already introduced in Yes, but this is as good as his contributions in Yes and will be appreciated by any fan of his works in the band. 4 Stars.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Heart of the Matter

5 stars Having the story of this album as a distinguished product of the "year out of band" taken by Yes' members been told enough, we should direct our attention straight to its proper musical content.

I think the critical point at issue here is: Does the whole orchestration thing, arranged & conducted by Squire's friend Andrew Pryce Jackman, really worth our while and their effort?

I think it does, indeed, but not for the obvious reason that it suits perfectly to the songs and Chris' vocal & instrumental style. That may be true too, but it's not the main reason that makes this record so appealing to me. Since so many songs exist that have a "orchestral track" attached to them, just because some producer can order it to the proper studio, and the label can afford it, it's a sweet relief to find these ones, where orchestra, band and soloist just form a solid unit, constructed as a result of genuine musical interplay. It's possible that each move made by the various conductors isn't perfect, but is however possessed with the same sheer energy that flows through the whole thing. That is priceless (pun unintended), and that is what makes this a masterpiece.

P.S: BrufordFreak said about the track 4, Lucky Seven: "Could almost be a King Crimson song". I say, should it be on a playlist following next to, let's say, "Ladies of the Road", one surely would perceive them both as belonging together in the same (beautiful & imaginary) album.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Psychedelic Paul

5 stars CHRIS SQUIRE (1948-2015) is of course best-known as the legendary bassist with YES, appearing on all twenty-one YES studio albums, from their first self-titled album in 1969 right through to the final YES album "Heaven & Earth" in 2014, just a year before his tragic death from leukemia at the age of 67. His unique and aggressive style of bass playing was a major part of what gave YES such a distinctive sound. This album "Fish Out of Water" (1975) was the first of two Chris Squire solo projects, with his second solo album "Chris Squire's Swiss Choir" (2007), a Christmas album, following 32 years later. He also collaborated with Steve Hackett of Genesis to record the album "A Life Within a Day" (2012) under the cunningly-titled name "Squackett". The "Fish Out of Water" album was recorded at a time when all of the YES musicians were taking a long hiatus from the band to record a solo album after the trials and tribulations of recording the YES "Relayer" album. Chris Squire's first solo album featured an impressive line-up of musicians from the world of prog, including:- Bill Bruford on drums; Mel Collins on saxophones; and Patrick Moraz on synthesisers. The album also featured an orchestra, conducted by Chris Squire's old bandmate from The Syn, Andrew Price Jackman. Let's dive in now and have a listen to the album.

Chris Squire makes a big splash with "Hold Out Your Hand", which is very much in the mould of classic Yessongs, with Squire's vocals sounding remarkably like Jon Anderson. The sound of Chris Squire's bass is very much at the forefront, giving the music the distinctive YES sound that we've come to know and love over the years. This music has all of the dynamic power and glory that we've come to expect from YES, with the sound of Barry Rose's pompous pipe organ adding a rich fullness to the sound. Chris Squire might feel like a "Fish Out of Water with his first solo album, but we're in very familiar YES territory with this opening song. There's a lovely message about the wonders of nature and the universe around us contained within the lyrics:- "All you've got to do is, Hold out your hand, For the treasures of the universe, Are lying at your feet." ..... I think we can all hold out our hands and give Chris a big round of applause for "Hold Out Your Hand" because this is a superb opening number. The next song "You By My Side" is a BIG romantic piano number with full orchestration and featuring a tremendous hook-line, so be prepared to be swept away on a passionate wave of emotion. The powerful music really tugs at the heart- strings with these heart-warming lyrics:- "You know I love you, we can't be without you, When I'm alone, I still feel this way about you." ..... This sumptuous grand piano and orchestra piece is positively overflowing with emotion and it's enough to make you feel all dewy-eyed and sentimental, so keep a hanky at the ready. We're "Silently Falling" now for Song No. 3, which opens to the sound of a flamboyant flute. This is one of two big epic numbers on the album, and with a running time of over 11 minutes, there's plenty of time for some keyboard wizardry from Patrick Moraz with the marvellous sound of Chris Squire's sonorous bass and Bill Bruford's pounding drums carrying the song along in true YES tradition. It's majestic and magnificent. This is uplifting and unrestrained grand Symphonic Prog which is sure to delight fans of the sonorous full-toned sound of YES.

Do you feel lucky, because "Lucky Seven" is the opening song on Side Two. It's a Jazzy saxophone number in complex 7/8 time that sounds like it could have been a missing King Crimson song, which is probably not too surprising considering Mel Collins and Bill Bruford have both been members of Robert Fripp's King Crimson ensemble at various times. This is a funky fusion of sassy and sophisticated Jazz-Rock given the heavy bass treatment by Mr Chis Squire, esquire. And now we come to the grand symphonic epic "Safe (Canon Song), to close out the album. It's a 15-minute masterpiece featuring the full works, including a floating flute, sensational saxophone, booming bass, dynamic drumming, and with a full orchestra bringing this outstanding piece of music to a dramatic conclusion in glorious pomp and symphonic splendour.

Chris Squire's first solo album features the oh-so-familiar heavy bass sound of YES, combined with sumptuous vocals, keyboard wizardry, and sophisticated saxophones in abundance. "Fish Out of Water" is sure to delight fans of the classic YES sound, as this album sounds very much like an undiscovered YES album treasure. There's enough dramatic chord progressions and tricky time signature changes contained within this album to keep any Progressive Rock fan happy. It's an album full of romantic refrains, jaunty Jazz, mellifluous melodies and scintillating symphonies, but it's ALWAYS consistently great music.

 Run with the Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White) by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1981
2.96 | 16 ratings

Run with the Fox (Chris Squire & Alan White)
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

4 stars You can skip this paragraph if you don't want to hear about my personal history with the excellent 1981 single 'Run with the Fox' / 'Return of the Fox' by then ex-Yes members Chris Squire and Alan White. I'm not sure if I'd ever heard of this single before seeing it for sale at a used record shop in 1990 or so.* But I snatched it right up, and rushed home to the record player. The song was completely fantastic, and quickly became one of my favorite Yes-related songs. The record itself was a very special item until the summer of 1991, when "Run with the Fox" (the a-side) was included as track thirteen on Disc 3 of Yesyears, Yes's first retrospective box set. Five or six years later, I was driving outside of Cleveland a few days prior to Christmas, and for the first and only time, I heard "Run with the Fox" on the radio.** Then, in the early 2000s, fabled Yes fan Steve Sullivan posted a clean .mp3 of 'Return of the Fox,' the b-side; and most recently, in 2018, remastered versions of both sides were included as bonus tracks on a "deluxe" reissue of Squire's 1975 solo album Fish Out of Water. For the past fifteen (or so) years - - since my first iPod - - 'Run with the Fox' has been my most-played song of the Christmas season.

The music which forms the basis of both sides is an old English carol known as "On Christmas Night All Christians Sing" or "Sussex Carol," while the lyrics were written primarily or entirely by preëminent prog-rock lyricist Peter Sinfield. And Squire pal Andrew Pryce Jackman created the orchestral parts - - all of which in essence means that neither Squire nor White necessarily composed any part of the single. For his part, Squire included versions of both 'Run with the Fox' and "Sussex Carol" on his 2007 Christmas album, which makes clear how much the former owes the latter.

The a-side, 'Run with the Fox,' is the vocal version, with Squire singing both leads and harmonies. This side also includes an orchestra and choir - - for the full symphonic-prog effect. The flipside, 'Return of the Fox,' is an instrumental except for a few scattered chorus leads sung by Nikki Squire (Squire's then-wife, later of Esquire). The vocal line, opening flute part, and choir chords are played on a synthesizer by David Greenslade (of Greenslade, naturally). There's no choir or orchestra on this side. The rhythm tracks on the two sides - - White's drumkit, Squire's bass, and the piano, tuned percussion, and sleigh bells - - vary only slightly.

And man, those rhythm tracks! White joined Yes in 1972, but when Squire recorded Fish Out of Water three years later, ex- Yes drummer Bill Bruford (White's predecessor) was the sole drummer. Similarly, Squire didn't appear on White's 1976 solo album. But by 1981 White and Squire had become inseparable, both in the recording studio and in terms of their interlocking grooves, as made plain on Yes's Drama. White's drumming has never been especially idiosyncratic, but on this single he sounds exactly like Alan White, especially his use of the tom-toms and the kick during his fill-ins. Meanwhile, Squire pulls out a fair number of his usual bass-guitar tricks, although 'Run with the Fox' doesn't have a signature bass line à la 'Tempus Fugit' or 'Heart of the Sunrise.' Instead, the rhythmic hook is the piano part (possibly played by Squire, but just as possibly White).

And as good as the rhythm, orchestra, and choir are, 'Run with the Fox' may represent Squire's best vocal performance ever. Its closest competitor, in my book, is 'You By My Side' from Fish Out of Water.

In sum, the a-side is one of my all-time favorites, and it's an essential part of any serious Yes or Chris Squire collection. I'd recommend 'Run with the Fox' to fans of crossover-prog and symphonic pop as well, even including those who aren't fans of Christmas music. If you dig it, you might want to check out Fish Out of Water or Esquire's self-titled first album. [4 stars on the 4-star scale for singles - - see my review page for scale]


*This was Atlantic K11695, the UK release with the small center hole and the picture sleeve with the photo of the fox head on the front. In the intervening years I saw a few other copies for cheap, and picked up the German release (with the painting of a fox running in a nighttime winter scene in the cover) and the US promo. As far as I know the music was identical on each record.

**I recall this as a WMMS broadcast, but that may be incorrect, as MMS had (temporarily) switched formats from AOR to Alternative during the years the event was most likely to have occurred.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by patrickq
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I'm not sure that Fish Out of Water is exactly the "lost Yes album" that some have claimed, but the fact that this epithet has been used with some regularity for years by Yes fans is meaningful. While the album doesn't suffer much from the absence of a dedicated lead vocalist and the practically total absence of guitar - - never mind lead guitar - - its claim as a Yes album is hard to sustain without the presence of Jon Anderson or Steve Howe. In terms of Yes members who are present, Fish Out of Water represents the last substantial studio collaboration between Squire and drummer Bill Bruford, who had left Yes two years earlier. Then-current Yes keyboardist Patrick Moraz also appears on one track. Interestingly, the title of the album seems to imply that this is not a Yes album - - that Squire, "the fish," has established a new ecosystem for his music.

So it's not a Yes album, but as some have pointed out, it's less of a Squire solo album as it is a collaboration with Andrew Pryce Jackman, whose orchestral arrangements seem to have warranted co-writing credit for each song. (Apparently, Squire discussed this at one point with Jackman.) Jackman also serves as the main keyboardist, as well as the conductor of the orchestra.

While Squire's bass guitar is the central instrument here, the orchestra is an essential component throughout, and is perhaps the biggest reason that neither lead guitar nor synthesizer parts are missed here. In addition to the orchestra and Jackman's piano, each of the first four songs includes some additional sweetening: pipe organ on "Hold Out Your Hand," flute on "You By My Side," saxophones (by Mel Collins) on "Silently Falling" and "Lucky Seven," as well Moraz's contributions (including synthesizer) to "Silently Falling." The fifth and final song, "Safe (Canon Song)" is performed by Squire, Bruford, Jackman, and the orchestra.

Anyway, even if Fish Out of Water isn't a Chris Squire solo album, it's definitely a Chris Squire showcase. Squire's vocal and instrumental performances are strong and inspired throughout. His bass guitar has been called the "anchor" of the album, and that describes it perfectly: the songs seem to have been written around the bass, and the bass dominates the instrumentation in the mix. His vocals, both solo and in multilayered harmonies, are also an important part of each song (his wife Nikki Squire backs him on the choruses of the opening track). The vocals are also the most probable cause of Fish Out of Water sounding like a Yes album; it turns out that much of the character in Yes-sounding vocals is Squire's singing, which is why some listeners have thought they heard Jon Anderson on parts of Drama.

Extending the Yes comparisons, the compositions on Fish Out of Water (1975) are stronger than those which would appear on the next two Yes albums, Going for the One (1977) and Tormato (1978), although they don't reach the heights of Yes's best works with Anderson and Howe. But in this aspect, also, Fish Out of Water compares favorably to the Yes catalogue.

The sound qualities of Fish Out of Water are excellent. The original vinyl album sounded very good, and the 1990 Japanese CD issue (AMCY 19) was fine, although it didn't seem to be as much of an improvement over the vinyl as you might expect today. The 2006 (Wounded Bird) remaster is very good, as is the 2018 Esoteric / Cherry Hill remaster - - I'm unsure as to which of the two is better, but I imagine that the 2006 version has been superseded. The 2018 two-disc set also includes a remix of the album by Jakko Jakszyk. The remix strays a little here and there from the original, which makes it pretty interesting.

The only real area of weakness on Fish Out of Water is that some of the sections are a bit drawn out; I get the sense that this might have been done to make up for the lack of a sixth song. Then again, Fish Out of Water is two minutes longer than Going for the One and six minutes longer than Drama, so maybe these were artistic choices. At a minimum, it's clear that varied repetition is an intentional part of Fish Out of Water.

So this isn't a lost Yes album, but it is a true masterpiece of symphonic-progressive rock. Highly recommended to lovers of prog music, whether Yes fans or not.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator PSIKE Team & Band Submissions

4 stars The fish bites back. Like it or not, pretty much every prog fan will agree that this album is legendary, made it to a real classic during recent decades. Now that Chris Squire isn't with us anymore may have provided the impetus to re-master the original tapes once again. Anyway, it was his long held wish that a 5.1 surround mix of the work would be undertaken someday. Hence the new limited edition released on CherryRed/Esoteric in 2018 made me curious, sure. Available as a double compact disc edition or an enhanced version including other formats like vinyl, DVD, singles and a 36 page book. And indeed, the sound is fantastic without question.

Covering the music you will immediately recognize where his homebase was. The band went on a hiatus in 1975, other members were concentrated on their solo works too. The album was essentially a collaboration with his friend Andrew Pryce Jackman, also member of The Syn, Squire's pre-Yes group. And the sessions also saw contributions from Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz and noted musicians like Mel Collins and Jimmy Hastings. Regarding the vocals he is close to Jon Anderson here and there. And so some may place the question for what reason Squire will record a somewhat new YES album, instead of something essentially different.

First of all, who cares more than 40 years later in light of a successful result? And then, this album is differing actually. As noted beforehand, one can hear where he's coming from. But also, the album is more symphonic, more pathetic, you will learn to like some saxophone within, and the great variety when it comes to the bass playing, the electric guitar takes a backseat aso. Additionally two tracks are offered from a session with Alan White, sounds like Asia, not a benefit necessarily. Still today the core songs are striking, with Silently Falling the album reaches for working temperature. Excellent compositions are following, worth a listen. If not already, another candidate for your well sorted prog collection.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by uduwudu

2 stars Avoiding the traps of idolatry and nostalgia and even more quietly prevalent in those factors that govern our human perception, namely false equivalency we turn to what is often regarded as the best solo Yes album.

So I updated my old long gone LP with the CD / DVD version. The DD is a nice bonus but not essential. Has videos and interviews. I wondered why I was not that keen on this album. Given the enthusiasm it generates among the Yes fans (me too) then I thought what was I not hearing. Perhaps I don't like it for whatever reason but is it that bad?

Not a disaster this album but there are caveats.

1. The songs are not that memorable. Strong melodies are more the field of Jon Anderson. Squire made a much better musical adjutant than leader.

2. Oft criticized is the orchestra. I think the orchestra is well used but that there is a problem somewhere may be the instrumental variety and requirement for counterpoint. There is little of either. How (sic) I wanted to hear Steve Howe's guitar turn up. Still, Squire's orchestrations are more crisp than the soggy arrangements that ruin Howe's Beginnings at times.

3. Instrumental balance. Dare I say it but when he does play those lovely fleet footed / fleet fingered riffs then Bruford kicks into gear and everything sounds fine. Then things slow down or changes happen and the results are half baked. Happens a lot in the longer songs. They are well arranged but somehow the idea of being a lead bassist has allowed the prominence of his the bass to be too much so. One note staccato is all very well on a chord change not for verse accompaniment. Or again. Just when you thought it'd been done it turns up. Especially when its so way up in the mix.

I thought that Squire may not be as good or interesting a bassist as his contemporary bass whizz John Entwistle until I recalled the album he did with Joe Walsh Too Late The Hero. Two witty minds with tons of talent I thought ... that produced a snore-fest of an album. No idea why, probably creativity and a hired producer / engineer whose job does not include telling his employers their out put sucks.

Well Fish Out Of Water is better than that but, well... not that much. His singing is useful at a 2nd or third banana level in Yes but he becomes grating either instantly or after a while. Your tolerance may be higher. Saying he's better than Howe at lead vocal is a bit like saying you're better off losing a toe than a leg.

The sophistication of the symphonic rock is there but flatters to deceive due unmemorable songs and lyrical content that is largely uninteresting. Everyone does what they're supposed to but I guess once the albums were out they were forgotten as the next tour turned up. And if you get a good 1976 live bootleg (download off a reputable torrent site for cost of some band width) then you will be well better off. Roosevelt Stadium 1976 for instance. Yes (with Moraz) as you and I need to hear them.

Olias from Anderson needed the instrumental input from his band to give it the necessary power, dynamics and identity it, and many of his demos deserve. Fish Out Of Water needed the melody and stronger vocal from Anderson as well as his sense of occasion. This is what makes his more, um, arcane lyrics tolerable. It also really needed Howe's dazzling styles and techniques to make it sparkle and give it much needed excitement. It may be that White may have been the more appropriate drummer here. Bruford is fine of course but White can kick songs into some semblance of energy rather than just finding the most intricate way of making lack luster material listenable. Which reminds me, this sounds like CTTE than White's dreadful Ramshackled which would have benefited from being left next to magnets than foisted upon the public. Or me.

It's often remarked upon that Fish Out OF Water is the lost Yes album. Well frankly all the solo albums were. They would have been better taking these albums and getting a double volume studio album, or a series of them after considerable work than having a bunch of reasonably sophisticated demo albums. A spare volume of material might have come in handy around the time of the aborted Paris '79 sessions. I heard the bootleg versions of those before much of those got released with the CD remaster or Tormato and it sounds like their solo albums, only even more devoid of ideas and inspiration. The official releases support that notion. Curses. No undiscovered gems.

The solo albums only sold on merit of association. Had these albums been by unknowns they would not even be given the grace of a review. If they had been new releases by hopefuls then maybe with help from friends these worthy efforts could have been made compelling; they're ok but veer from awful to interesting to rather good in parts. Few but Ramshackled are without merit entirely. Fish Out Of Water underlines the importance and value of a great singer, great material and the critical appraisal of a producer who should have the authority to tell his client / employer that his music is tanking as it plays. I'd recommend to anyone trying this sort of album in symphonic (aka prog) rock to check out the third movement of Dvorak's New World Symphony first.

So the virtuosity of Yes can work against them if the material is not great. The sum of the parts exposed when the components cannot measure up to the sum. And this one is okay but flawed. The fanatics will have it but if you're curious then see if a copy is going for a song; you may be one of those who give this a 4 - 5 star review and wonder how I can be so ungenerous.

2 maybe 2.5.

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 81

Chris Squire was, as almost all we know, the famous bassist and backing vocalist of Yes. Yes was formed in 1968 after singer Jon Anderson met bassist Squire at a London music industry bar. The pair was soon joined by guitarist Peter Banks, keyboardist Tony Kaye and drummer Bill Bruford. Over the ensuing decades, Yes would see a parade of band members depart, enter and re-enter, but Squire was the lone constant in the shape shifting band, serving as their bassist for almost 50 years and remaining as the only member who participated in all Yes' albums. For the entirety of Yes existence, Squire was the band's linchpin and the glue that held it together all over the years. However and unfortunately, with his dying, only the future can brings to us what will be the future of the musical career of Yes.

Squire's first bass was a Futurama, a very cheap bass but with good and enough quality to learn on. However, in 1965 he acquired a Rickenbacker 4001 bass, which along with his personal settings, creates an unmistakable timbre, which became his personal signature. The Squire bass style is melodic, intricate, complex, dynamic and aggressive and was much influenced by John Entwistle's bass style, the bassist of The Who, which is considered by many, the best bassist ever. The Squire style influenced many other bassists, especially Geddy Lee of Rush, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden and Billy Sheehan, a very well known bassist because of his work with several artists such as Steve Vai. Squire was considered the 18th best bassist of the millennium in a list published by Guitar Magazine, few years ago.

"Fish Out Of Water" is the debut studio album of Squire and was released in 1975 during a break between duties for Yes. Beyond Chris Squire (vocals, bass and twelve string electric guitar), the album has also the collaboration of his colleague of Yes, Patrick Moraz (synthesizer and organ), his ex-colleague of Yes, Bill Bruford (drums and percussion), Mel Collins (soprano saxophone), ex-member of King Crimson, Camel, Caravan and The Alan Parsons Project, Jimmy Hastings (flute), a musician associated with the Canterbury Scene, Andrew Jackman (piano, electric piano, conductor and orchestration) and Barry Rose (pipe organ).

"Fish Out Of Water" has five tracks and all the songs were written by Squire. The first track "Hold Out Your Hand" is an excellent song to open the album and it defines the ambient sound that we can find on the whole album. It's a fantastic melodic track with a superb bass line and also with a great keyboard work, prominently very well accompanied by the orchestra in the background. This is a song that I like very much. The second track "You By My side" is the soft song of the album and is more a love song, and feels like the second half part of the first track. It's a beautiful, slowly and melodic song with a melancholic refrain that makes a good and interesting contrast with the beginning of the song. Despite Squire be not a great singer, he has on this track one of his best vocal performances. This is another very good song for my taste. The third track "Silently Falling" is one of the highest points of the album, is one of the most progressive songs and is also probably my favourite song. This is a fantastic song that alternates between the calm and the fast parts. It has some complex and intricate musical parts and rhythm sections between Squire and Bruford and with the other musicians, very well accompanied by the melancholic refrain. This is really a great song. The fourth track "Lucky Seven" is the incursion of Squire in the jazz world. It's a nice and calm jazz song with good rhythm section, nice good keyboard work and with the ad of a saxophone. It gives to the song a more jazzy sound feeling. This is a very good and successful song, very well sung and with good instrumental parts. The fifth and last track "Safe (Cannon Song)" is the other highest point of the album, one of the most progressives and is with "Silently Falling" the other my favourite track. It's a piece of music with some classical influences, with great orchestral arrangements and with some of the best, brilliant, superb and strong bass playing by Squire, where he shows why he is considered one of the best bass players ever. This epic closes brilliantly and perfectly this amazing and surprising studio album.

Conclusion: I know and I have a copy of this album since it was released and I always considered it a great album. Surprisingly, it's much better than most of us expected. Despite Squire be one of the main composers of Yes, we honestly expected a lot more of the debut solo studio albums of some other members of the group, especially of the albums of Howe and Anderson, than this one. So, the only thing that surprised me really, was the fact that Squire, despite the good songs composed by him for Yes and also despite the great quality of this album, recognized for almost of all, he practically released only one studio album. With "Fish Out Of Water" Squire demonstrated that "Fish", could perfectly survive in or out of water and even in any type of ambience. Definitely, we will miss him, sorely.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Fish Out Of Water by SQUIRE, CHRIS album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.00 | 491 ratings

Fish Out Of Water
Chris Squire Symphonic Prog

Review by Atavachron
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars When one interviews a person who is dead, it isn't too much different from a conversation with the living. In fact, according to Chris Squire, eminent instrumentalist/composer and one of the founders & drivers behind legendary prog rock band Yes, you are pretty much exactly the same person you were when you were alive. But with maybe a few lessons firmly under the belt. Mr. Squire was generous enough to allow my intrusion on a cool misty English morning to a gorgeous but moderate old mansion he'd been, well, haunting. He proved to indeed be the same convivial, highly intelligent, enormous man he'd always been with a shock of bleach-blond and a face that had seen more than its share. We spoke over mugs of hot, dark tea and a tray of delicious if unknown little goodies.

A - So Chris, we're approaching one year since you passed on June 27, 2015, let's get the obvious first question out of the way: What's it like being dead?

C - (smiling) I don't really think about it in those terms. "Being dead" sounds so static, when actually life goes on. You have the same feelings, views, issues, the only thing that changes is that you have to create your life. I mean physically create it. It's quite a challenge.

A - Would you say that it's like composing?

C - I suppose, yeah, in a way, but it's ... tangible, it's consequential. A bad song won't change your existence, but a wrong move now and it could be months before I find my way back on course.

A - I see. Okay tell me about your writing approach and how it's utilized on your Fish Out of Water album from 1975.

C - Well as a lead instrument the bass has certain limitations but those are also its strengths, because in limitation you have necessity, and that breeds invention. In the case of Fish Out of Water, I usually started with the piano, bass parts over that, and later the highs, the vocals, lead lines and harmonics. I tend to write from the bottom up, if you'll forgive the pun. I start with the compositional ground and then work my way up.

A - Is that the way Yes tended to function?

C - No not really. Yes was a real group. It was a collaboration. So sometimes Jon would come in with a nearly finished song, or Steve would have something that was largely formed already.

A - Andrew Jackman helped a lot in putting the album together, describe that relationship.

C - Andrew and I were both keen on doing a big, symphonic thing, and he'd been doing orchestration much of his life so it worked out. We got Barry Rose to play organ at St. Paul's Cathedral with Andrew conducting, and it just all came together really. The LSO, everything. In those days, symphony players weren't all that fond of rock 'n roll. But later I realized they enjoyed the meeting of the two forms cause it was so much fun.

A - Let's talk about the first cut, 'Hold Out Your Hand'.

C - Yeah well the bassline came out of the keyboard part. Andrew did the arranging. It was great having an arranger; like an automatic organizer, it helped things move along. This was a good establishing track for the project with the bass solo, Barry's organ solo, and symphonic flourishes.

A - 'You by My Side'. A love song, and of course the CSN influence in the vocals and tempo.

C - Right, I mean I wanted something well-rounded, you know, and what CSN were doing was a sort of irresistible mix of Beatles pop with American folk.

A - And segueing into 'Almost Falling'.

C - Yeah, nice smooth changeover. Mel Collins on, I think, tenor sax, and Patrick's bass part on the Minimoog. And of course a huge Brian Wilson influence here which, by the way, I've always had. Another thing here, with the whole record, is the almost complete lack of guitar throughout the set.

A - Was that intentional?; I mean was it part of the original plan?

C - Oh yeah, I think so. Nothing against guitar but I wanted an avenue away from what I'd been doing with Yes and leaving out guitar was an effective way toward that. The little guitar accents I do are fine, I think. Shows the value of a good-sounding rhythm guitar in small doses. A little goes a long way.

A - Bill Bruford's drumming is just outstanding on the album, he seems to contribute a very important element. Would you agree?

C - Absolutely. It isn't just brilliant playing but you can hear how the drums are completely integral. In other words, they're an entirely equal component rather than just a dazzling rhythm instrument.

A - Moving on to 'Lucky Seven'.

C - Yeah well it turned out good, you know. Andrew worked his magic, and it's in 7/4 of course and somehow, largely thanks to Bill, it ended up sounding damn good, better than I'd anticipated.

A - You couldn't tell it worked right after you'd written it?

C - Not in the same way, no. But when we were all in the studio and Bill started pumping out that time and we started getting the playback, I knew it was working. Wonderful here with the sax working off of the drums. And then into 'Safe'. Not an easy song to sing, especially back when you had to actually sing everything (chuckles). 11/16, 13/16, and several other unusual time signatures appear, something more musicians were drawn to back then.

A - Chris I want to thank you so much for taking the time to talk. I know you're a busy man. By the way, the World wants to know: Do you ever play music, and with whom?

C - (big wide smile) I do play as often as I can but it's not with, y'know, Hendrix or Keith Moon or anyone (laughter). I mostly play with other musicians, regular guys, who passed around the same time I did. I guess the shared experience creates a simpatico that goes well with jamming ~~~

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